The Clash – The Collection March 28, 2008
Continuing my journey exploring Joe Strummer’s music, I went looking for The Clash albums. I was actually looking for some kind of best of, collection of singles. There’s quite a few out there, but reading reviews from fans, every single one seemed to be missing some major piece of their work. I therefore reverted to looking into original studio albums, and found a set of 3 CDs that actually capture most of The Clash’s work and got approval from a number of fans, and for less than $20!
The Clash (U.S. Version)
The first album of The Clash is the best one in my opinion. Very few albums capture so much energy: it’s a collection of short, enraged songs ((White Man) In Hammersmith Palais and Police & Thieves being somewhat an exception).
Listen to: I’m So Bored With The U.S.A.
Listen to: White Riot
London Calling was released two years after The Clash and has a slightly different style, with softer music and more reggae, with slower and longer songs, though the lyrics remain very engaged.
Listen to: London Calling
Listen to: Hateful
Combat Rock has a mix of songs that feel very punk, and others that feel much lighter, such as Inoculated City or Death Is A Star – though again, this really applies to the music than the lyrics. Interestingly, it contains the only song from The Clash that surfaced in France’s popular culture: Should I Stay Or Should I Go.
I like it less than The Clash and London Calling, but it does contain some excellent tracks:
Listen to: Know Your Rights
Listen to: Rock The Casbah
Overall, these albums (especially the first two ones) feel like a necessary addition to any rock collection.